Rural Schenectady County residents report 2 big ‘booms’ to NEWS10


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DELANSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Monday night, the NEWS10 newsroom received more than a dozen emails and calls from a small corner of Schenectady County saying they heard what sounded like two big explosions.

NEWS10’s Anya Tucker went to Delanson to find out what may have caused the noise. While there, she met Hilda Koontz, who described what she heard on Monday afternoon around 3:45 p.m. “It was the loudest boom I’ve ever heard.” She added, “Louder, I think, than a sonic boom.”

Then, a few hours later around 6 p.m., she says she heard another big boom. “At first I thought someone was hunting. And then I thought, no.”

“I heard the boom. But I felt the boom. I felt the house shake,” said Karen Polsinelli. She said she thought that maybe her gas dryer had malfunctioned. “My husband is hard of hearing, and he heard it. It was loud.”

There were many other residents who spoke with Anya, who told her they also heard what sounded like two large explosions — one around 3:45 p.m. and the second one around 6 p.m.

The loud booms came around the same time that fire crews were called to a nearby pyrotechnics plant. State Police say the fire call came in around 3:45 p.m. from Pyrotechnique on Old Dare Road in Delanson.

They could not confirm any explosions but did tell NEWS10 that there was no threat to the public and no one was injured. A local pilot, who lives nearby and flies over the plant frequently, shared a photo of what appeared to be damage to one of the buildings.

The plant is the primary research facility for the world-famous Grucci Family Fireworks Company. According to Grucci’s CEO, the fire was in one of their buildings at their Delanson plant.

The facility conducts research and development, including developing explosive demands for the military and entertainment industry.

As for the plant’s neighbors in this remote corner of Schenectady County, they say they’re not too concerned. “It’s never been an issue ever,” said Karen.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and area fire investigators are looking into the cause of the fire. Grucci’s CEO says the facility maintains compliance with regulations, and they are cooperating with investigators.

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